Climate change is something you don’t have to be an environmentalist to know about. Everyone’s talking about it, and how it spells disaster for not just the future generations, but for ourselves, too. Here’s everything you need to know about climate change in a nutshell – and then the details on how some of your favorite sustainable beauty companies are trying to slow down this disastrous process.
What is climate change, exactly?
According to NASA, climate change is any change in the usual weather pattern of a place. This includes the weather, climate, and precipitation (rain, snow, hail). The term also refers to a change in Earth’s climate as a whole.
Historically, the Earth has seen some pretty drastic climate changes. From boiling temperatures to a crazy, unbelievable Ice Age – we’ve been through it all. And Earth’s climate changes slowly from year to year due to natural reasons, like the Earth’s distance from the sun, changes in our oceans, or volcanic eruptions. However, of late, certain unnatural factors have caused this process to speed up alarmingly, and scientists predict some very dire consequences.
We want to quickly talk about a common misunderstanding while we’re on the subject. Sometimes, people use the terms climate change and global warming interchangeably. While it’s passable, it’s not correct. Global warming is one of the effects of climate change. If you’re referring to the Earth’s rising surface temperature, use ‘global warming’. Otherwise, use ‘climate change’.
Why is it happening?
There are several causes of climate change, but the single biggest cause is emissions. When factories produce products, when they ship them to us, when we heat or cool our homes, we use energy. This energy is mostly derived from fossil fuel, and the process of converting it into energy releases large amounts of gases into the air. These gases cause the air to heat up. This is happening all around the globe, and that’s causing global climate change.
However, climate change isn’t just because of energy use. We also create emissions when we use a plane, drive a car, or even eat meat! Here are some figures that’ll help you understand this better:
If you took a roundtrip flight from SFO to JFK, you’d be responsible for 1.5 metric tons of CO2 emissions! This is equivalent to the emissions caused by driving over 3000 miles in a compact car, or eating a year’s supply of beef (55lb). If you take a 10-minute shower every day, you’ll cause 1650lbs of CO2 emissions a year – or over 4.4lbs of CO2 every day!
Deforestation is another reason why climate change is happening. It’s responsible for about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation occurs due to palm oil cultivation, and to make space for agriculture. This is one of the biggest reasons why you should support organic farming. Growing forests are a significant carbon sink.
Climate change statistics
The Earth has seen rising and falling levels of CO2 for millennia. However, what makes the current trend so worrisome is the fact that there is a good chance the current CO2 rise is a result of human activity. Furthermore, carbon dioxide levels are at unprecedented levels – way, way higher than they’ve been in over 800,000 years.
Earth’s average surface temperature has risen 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. Most of this happened in the last 40 years, with the last 7 years being the warmest. The temperature of our ocean water is going up, too. The top 330 feet of ocean are warmer by 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.
Glaciers are retreating around the world, our ice sheets are losing mass (billions of tons every year), and our sea levels are rising alarmingly. Global sea level rose around 8 inches in the last century. In the two decades of this century, we’ve seen a rate nearly double that, with a slight increase each year.
These numbers may seem insignificant, but when you study the pattern, you’ll see how things are spiraling out of control. We’re headed towards disaster. It may not happen in 10 years or even in 20 years, but we’ll see things come to a head very soon.
How will climate change affect us?
Climate change will result in extreme weather events – this includes droughts, heavy rainfall, floods, hurricanes, and temperature extremes (on both ends). This will lead to reduced crop yield and an increase in pest issues, thus causing severe food scarcity worldwide.
Additionally, climate change is slowly but steadily melting our ice reserves, thus adding to the water in our oceans and causing the water level to rise. This will cause submersion of inhabited areas, loss of ecosystems, and lots and lots of damage. When ecosystems are destroyed, we risk losing vulnerable species entirely – species that may be crucial to our existence.
Many areas will become inhabitable due to extreme weather, drought, or total submersion. Properties will be damaged, and when you have all that going on during a worldwide food shortage, you can imagine the kind of global catastrophe it’ll result in. Most people understand the term ‘global catastrophe’ better after the recent pandemic, but that was nothing compared to what might happen – because COVID-19 had an end (of sorts), but climate change won’t, once things reach a certain point.
How will climate change affect our skin and hair?
It seems almost trivial to ask this question after knowing the effect of climate change on humanity as a whole, but you need to know the answer to this question, because as climate change begins to take its toll, you’ll need to become more careful about what products and which brands you choose.
Disruption of natural ecosystems and weather extremes will cause a big increase in skin infections, inflammatory diseases, and other skin-related disorders. This is because when natural ecosystems are upset, there is an increase in waterborne and vector-borne diseases. In addition, high temperatures can cause skin cancer, especially in the scalp area.
Climate change will also have a drastic effect on your hair. Air pollution causes hair breakage, low temperatures cause dryness, humidity changes can cause flaking and dryness, and high temperatures can make your hair weak and frizzy.
How can we help?
Flights cause an incredible amount of emission, so when you need to travel, take the eco-friendly route instead. Buses are the greenest way to travel, and trains are best when you’re traveling a longer distance. If going overseas there’s no way to avoid taking a flight, but luckily for us we live in a large, beautiful country with lots of incredible places to see.
In addition, try and use less energy, plant trees, buy organic, and invest in brands that are doing good things for the environment – because they can do things on a much larger scale than individuals can.
5 brands that are trying to battle climate change
Many big-name brands are trying to reduce their emissions and to invest in green projects to try and fend off climate change. However, they’re usually guilty of other processes that hurt the Earth. So, instead of promoting them, here are some sustainable beauty brands that are doing only good things, and trying to protect the Earth from further damage:
They have a multipurpose, eco-friendly product that comes in a reusable metal box, and before shipping every order they put it through a carbon offset calculator to make sure they stay carbon neutral.
The people behind MS Skincare believe in the power of mother nature, and therefore use ethically sourced, organic ingredients in their products. Their Enzyme Cleansing Powder, linked above, is an Ayurvedic blend that you can use to remove impurities from your skin.
Their Beauty Water is a liquid exfoliant that you can use a couple times a week to achieve a luminous complexion. All their products come in glass bottles, which can be recycled endlessly. Glass recycling cuts down on related air pollution by 20%, and on related water pollution by a solid 50%!
If you’ve been looking for the perfect eyeshadow palette, you’ve just found it! The palette is completely recyclable, the product is super pigmented and infused with organic skincare oils, and the brand donates 1% of the proceeds to Earth-friendly organizations.
Looking for a way to protect your skin from pollution? Here you go! This product will protect you from pollution, while reducing signs of aging. Earth Harbor’s products are sustainable, natural, cruelty-free, fair trade, plant-based, and made in small batches by USA Mermaids.
100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. These are corporate giants and the emissions are produced by indoor heating, flights, meat consumption etc., but if they wanted to make a change, they could make a huge impact. However, till that happens, sustainable beauty companies like our partners continue to do what’s right for the environment.
Fait avec Coeur chooses Earth over Mars
While humanity’s working towards a mission to make Mars habitable, we at Fait avec Coeur love our Mother Earth and don’t want a second planet. We think our planet did all it could to nurture us, and now it’s our turn to do a little for our beautiful Earth. We should all come together and put our efforts into reversing the damage that’s been done.
For our part, we invest in organically sourced silk, so no forests are destroyed to obtain the raw materials we need. Our silk pillowcase is a popular product that is completely organic, and which will elevate your lifestyle without harming the environment in any way. It will also help you sleep better and preserve your skin’s moisture and any beauty product you apply at night.